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HIS 311: Greco-Roman World: Source Types

Primary Sources

Primary Sources are original materials from the time period involved. They are generally just the information or artifact, and do not include evaluation or commentary. 

Examples include: 

  • Newspapers

  • Artifacts

  • Letters

  • Codes of Law

  • Speeches

  • Scientific Findings

  • Media (Photographs, Audio Recordings, etc.)

  • Government-Issued Documents

  • Art and Architecture

  • Fiction

  • Musical Scores

  • Maps

Secondary Sources

Secondary sources offer interpretation or commentary on primary sources. However, the definition of secondary sources may depend on the discipline or topic.

Examples include: 

  • Commentaries, criticisms

  • Biographies 

  • Critical Works

  • Documentaries

  • Reviews

  • Peer-Reviewed Journals

  • Magazine or Newspaper Articles

Tertiary Sources

Tertiary Sources condense primary and secondary sources. 

Examples include:

  • Almanacs

  • Dictionaries 

  • Directories

  • Encyclopedias

  • Factbooks

  • Indexes

  • Manuals

  • Textbooks

Primary VS Secondary Sources